The Crusaders have been dealt a blow ahead of the start of the new Super Rugby season with the news that Kieran Read is set to undergo surgery on his back.
The All Blacks captain will undergo surgery on a prolapsed lumbar disc this Saturday and the expected recovery time is four months.
The problem began for Read in the build-up to the All Blacks’ November Test against Scotland at Murrayfield – Steve Hansen’s side had to delay their team announcement in the hope that Read would prove his fitness which he did after coming through a final training session before the game.
What was originally thought to be a hip-flexor problem clearly became more serious in the build-up to the Test against Wales at the Principality Stadium where he was ruled out of the clash with Sam Whitelock captaining the side in his absence against Warren Gatland’s charges.
Read is no stranger to starting the season late, this year he missed the beginning of the Crusaders’ Super Rugby campaign with a wrist injury and a dislocated thumb.
“He has been reviewed by both the All Blacks and Crusaders medical teams,” said a statement from the Christchurch based side. “as well as a back specialist, who will continue to monitor his recovery. Expected recovery time for such injuries is approximately four months.”